Pula / Istria, Croatia, August 15-21

After our time in Zagreb we took a bus to Pula, the largest town in the Istria region of Croatia. Istria has a lot of Italian influences, especially in the food, and everyone must study Italian in school.

We stayed 1 block from Pula’s 2000 year old Roman Arena. It was really cool to walk past it every day. They even do gladiator shows there twice a week. We had a number of great meals in Istria, the best being at a tiny place called Backyard, which is literally the chefs backyard, and has about 7 small tables.

We rented a car for two days to explore the rest of Istria, and visited the coastal towns of Rovinj and Porec, the medieval towns of Groznjan and Motovun, and the ruins of Pietrapelosa Castle and Dvigrad. The rental car was a bright orange Renault Clio, a great little car, but crazy expensive ($215/day) this summer due to the COVID-induced rental car shortages.

We went truffle hunting in Buzet with the cutest truffle dogs (no one uses pigs here), and only found 1 truffle. It has been a very dry August, so not a great season for truffles.

While Christine did a pasta making class, I did a mountain bike tour of the area, and it turned out my tour guide is one of the gladiators! He swears that the fights are not rigged, and that they do sometimes get hurt. Here is a clip from YouTube. We also did a kayaking trip to a nearby island that is part of Brijuni National Park.

Full set of photos are here.

Next stop, Zadar.

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